Thursday, October 30, 2008

I have a survey for you all!



So, it's election time, and I am looking to find out who is voting for who.

So, vote here:

Another don't vote video...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I recently started working with virtual machines again, and I finally got the new seamless integration of windows xp inside the new ubuntu beta release candidate today!  I am so happy.  So, just to explain what this is a picture of... you will notice that the background image is the defailt background for ubuntu intrepid ibex (and ibex is a mountain goat with the really long curly horns).. along the top of the screen is the Ubuntu applications menu and quick links, across the very bottom is the ubuntu application bar, and just above that you have the windows xp appication bar.  In other words, you are looking at windows and Linux running at the same time on the same machine.  and I can run applications from either one at any time. 

I am sort of proud of this, even though it wasn't hard. 

So, why would I do this?  because netflix's streaming functionality only works in internet explorer with windows media player 11.  (neither of which really run well in Linux...)  so I needed this setup in order to watch my netflix movies in Linux... which I needed to do so I could stream netflix movies in full screen (because my windows laptop doesn't work with wide screen perspective... and this was a hell of a lot easier than making that work.  plus it's just really cool to have a machine I can run any windows or linux app from.

so... that's all. just remember I am awesome for doing this.

Later,

     SteveO

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Party! the boss is OOF!

So, today is the first day that our manager is OOF (out of office), so it's party time!

well, maybe not really, but I wish that were the story.  No, we actually have a fairly heavy work load that will keep me busy all the way until he gets back next month.  So here we go on the coding marathon.

There are three other people on my team: one working on the automation library, myself and one other person working on automating test cases, and one person working on automating the service status page.

I think that's about all I can say about it.  I like the coding part, but I almost wish I was the one working on the library.

So, that's a quick update, I still didn't put that picture of Payal up yet... I forgot... oops.

anyway, that's it for now, until next time

Later,

    SteveO

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

it appears that picasa 3 for linux isn't all it should be? maybe...

So, when I tried to post a picture to blogger with picasa 3 running on ubuntu... the picture didn't get uploaded.

that's really unfortunate because I thought the picture went up... I even had to wait for the picture to upload, but oh well...

So, I'll have another post (hopefully tonight) where I update the picture in the post from 3 days ago. (it will show up down below.)  For now, enjoy this collage I put together of pictures of Jaani

So... that brings me back to today. Another day at work. I was really happy because we were talking about new features in a meeting, and let's just say that the next version of the Zune software will blow itunes out of the water.

Then I actually used a ternary operator in my code today... which is only significant because I have only previously done that in school projects. So, I was excited about that.

Then, I went on to create a list of test cases I would like to get automated by the end of the week (aka EOD tomorrow)... which probably won't happen, but that will give me the anxiety of feeling behind next week (instead of ahead) which will get me working faster.

I'm excited about GTAC on Thursday/Friday! For those of you who haven't heard, GTAC stands for Google Test Automation Conference. It makes me really happy to actually get more exposure to the community of testers in the Seattle area without the pressure of having a task I'm trying to get done. In other words, a good (real world) social networking event for me.

I still don't know what will be in store for the rest of the week, but my manager is leaving to visit family in India tomorrow, and he seems happy with the progress we've made so far on our task... I guess only time will tell.

that's it for now.

Later,

     SteveO

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Analyzing my refered traffic from Ababsurdo!

I wanted to start this post off by saying the map on the left is a representation of who reads my blog. The bigger the circle, the more times my blog has been read there. So, that being said, the largest circle is actually Fenton, MI (with 79 visits), however, all data from Fenton stops on July 4th, and all Linden data begins on July 5th (I see a pattern here that makes a lot of sense.) The number two city to view my blog is Linden, MI. In conclusion to this, my biggest fan is my mom. ;-)
Here is a list of the top 10 cities that read my blog:
  1. Fenton/Linden, MI: 156
  2. Bellevue, WA: 113
  3. Seattle, WA: 90
  4. (not set): 72 <-- This is the governent spying on me ;-P
  5. Ann Arbor, MI: 33
  6. Troy, MI: 22
  7. Glenwood Springs, CO: 15
  8. Kirkland, WA: 14
  9. Allendale, WA: 11
  10. Medina: WA: 9
So, to the comparison... as a googleholic, it would only be proper to use Google Analytics to monitor statistics related to traffic on my site. So, to simplify things, I decided I wanted a couple pictures to look at, so I made this:



I wasn't sure what to think at first. It shows that I have between 31 - 59 visits to my site via ababsurdo.com, and it shows that 4 to 9 of those visits are quality visits. It also shows that I get between 71 - 90 visits per month to my blog, and 11 to 19 of those are quality visits. So, I got to thinking, what is the impact of ababsurdo on my blog?
So, I made another picture:



I love making pictures... anyway, this one shows that 34 - 74% of my visits come from Ababsurdo, and 23 - 63% of my quality visits come from there. So, can I actually draw a conclusion from this? well, yea... sort of.

See, this is a reflection of my ability to reach my target audience... family. Also, Ababsurdo is a daily blog, my blog is a randomly updated blog. This means that by slacking off too much, I am lowing the quality of the visits to my blog. My over all bounce rate is about 80%, and when you look at this chart:



You can see from this chart that there is a slight, but consistent change in the bounce rate when compared to the number of blog posts per month. You can see that my bounce rate was the lowest in August and the % of days that I blogged in August was the highest. However, in September my bounce rate started to go up as the % of days I blogged went down.

This suggests that If I can just consistently blog every day, my bounce rate will go down, and my quality visits will go up.

I know that I've read this before on many blogs about professional blogging, but it is just nice to look at real world data, and come to the same conclusions based on that.

My final piece of information, when I look back at the progress of my blog over the past 3 weeks, I can see a direct relationship between bounce rate and number of posts.

  • September 28th - October 4th: 3 blog posts; 70% bounce rate
  • October 5th - October 11th: 2 blog posts; 79% bounce rate
  • October 12th - October 18th: 3 blog posts; 73% bounce rate
There is one thing that is crutial about the past 3 weeks, the first and last week had about 14% fewer visitors than the middle week. However, if I had posted more in the middle week, I probably would have had fewer bounces because more of the visitors would read the blog.
So, after looking at all of this, and a bunch of data from my daily statistics, I should post every day, with the highest priority on friday (I get the most visits on Friday and Saturday).
That's it for now.

Later,
SteveO

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Payal... when she was just a little younger

I was digging through my pictures today, and I found this picture of Payal. So I'm just sharing it... in part because Picasa 3 improved the photo upload option, and part because it is a good picture.

Later,

SteveO

Monday, October 13, 2008

And the astro limped into a parking lot...

I found it sort of funny as we pulled into a shell station in Lynwood Washington yesterday.  I remember waking up that morning and thinking to myself, the astro will probably die today.  I knew it would happen because my gut told me so.  So, there began the inevitable death of my 1992 astro with 193,000 miles on in.  I've known sense we bought the car that it's demise would either be the transmission or the alternator.

   I woke up yesterday and knew I needed to jump-start the van.  So, I jump started it with my Honda, waited for it to warm up, then checked the fluids and was on my way.  The car stalled out before we got out of the parking lot, which I knew was a sign to stop now, but I kept going anyway.  I left and we made it to the house to pick up the mattress (our goal for the day)... then I turned the car off when we loaded the mattress.  The people that Art bought the mattress from were nice enough to jump start the van, but that only got us to the end of the driveway.  Then, the guy we got the mattress from actually drove me to Wal-Mart so I could exchange my battery for a new one... and that got us down to Lynwood (a couple miles...)

   I felt like something was wrong with the astro when I was climbing a hill (not a steep one, only like a 2-3% grade), so I pulled off the road.  Upon coming the the end of the off-ramp, the car started to make a slight grinding noise.  I knew something was really wrong...  Still, I managed to get into a gas station parking lot (mainly because it was down hill from the off-ramp.)

   Once we had the car parked, I pulled the dip stick to check the transmission fluid, and this steam or smoke was in the tube.  I knew it was bad.  I had 2 quarts of transmission fluid in the car, and I tried just dumping that in there to see if that would work, but then when I was shifting the car through the gears, I realized that reverse wouldn't kick in... and the car made a grinding noise while idling in park or neutral.  I used the parking break to relieve the pressure on the transmission, and kept the car idling.  I saw that the transmission was now full, so I tried to put the car into drive so I would do a quick lap around the parking lot, and the car had almost no power... just enough to barely push it... and the whole time the transmission made this grinding noise.  I realized that we were not going to drive away in that car... and called AAA.

We waited about 45 minutes, and then the tow truck driver pulled up... it was one of those trucks that actually carries the car.  So the driver took the car down to Renton, only 2 or 3 blocks from my apartment, where the car currently sits.  Tonight, I plan to go empty the remaining junk out of the van, and drop the keys in the night drop box for the repair place, but I am almost certain the next stop for the car will be a junk yard.  I guess time will tell for certain...

Oh well, that's all for now.

Later,

     SteveO

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The totally awesome SNL skit that was taken off Hulu.com...



This clip was taken off of Hulu.com because NBC wanted to remove the text identifying the couple that made 7 billion dollars as "people who should be shot"... I think it added to the comedic effect, but oh well.  At least they put the skit back up.

Check out my totally awesome form!

So, I have been thinking about all this CO2 stuff a bit lately, and I thought that I would make a form for it.



Well, this form allows me to collect miles driven in a year and miles per gallon.

Honestly, I have no use for the form, I just wanted to get a feel for how Google Form work.

You see, when you enter information into this form, and hit submit, it adds a time-stamp and the two data feilds to a spreadsheet that I have in Google Documents.  It is completely anonymous (as far as what I can see), and it can be used to allow anyone to enter form data to a spreadsheet where the data can be analyzed or charted on graphs. Something like this:


Which I think is really cool!

Anyway... that's it for now...

Later,

     SteveO

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Epic Failure!

I have to say I think of the Dow Jones Industrial Average as an EPIC FAILURE!

The worst part is that most economists think that the bail out is the worst thing we could be doing.  It is said to be a repeat of the failures we made before the great depression, and the same mistake that Japan made in the 1990's.  As you can see here. Critics say it is because of a failure to revise outdated economics theories based entirely on Marx's ideology. Or a failure to stop predatory loans... or as this documentary suggests, we ignored tell tale signs and irresponsibly acquired too much debt.  Still people pass blame back to the Lyndon Johnson's Fair Housing Act (because that is when sub-prime morgages starting artificially inflating the value of realistate..)

I find a disturbing amount of truth in SNL's recent skit about the financial crisis on our hands.  The banks should have known better than to issue so many loans that they knew nobody would be able to pay.
anyway... out economy is headed for epic failure of a scale we have never seen... I say invest heavily is gold and oil.  Those will probably only go up.
For now, I'll leave you with Ron Paul's warning from last year:

That's all for now.
Later,
     SteveO

Friday, October 3, 2008

The RePUGlican Convention



I know I created a different blog for all the stupid videos I want to share, but this one just hit close to home... with Jaani and all.

Later,

     SteveO

Thursday, October 2, 2008

My CO2 Emission Savings!

So, at work, they have been issuing these incentive programs for people to start taking the bus or carpooling... pretty much anything other than driving alone.  I signed up on this site for an account, and it made me start thinking about my CO2 Emissions.  I decided to think about how much I have saved by taking the bus!  I did what any self respecting computer nerd would do, and I opened up a new spreadsheet to organize data.

I started by calculating how much CO2 my car produced... then the bus... then the difference... but somewhere in the middle I thought about air-travel... then power consumption at home... and I'll let Microsoft take care of off-setting my power usage at work (Which they do...)

Here is what I came up with:
*** *Miles lbs CO2 from car **lbs CO2 from bus lbs CO2 Saved *Gallons of gas saved Money Saved
Per Month 636 440.83 165.36 275.47 21 $79
So Far: 3,816 2,644.98 992.16 1,652.82 127 $476
This Year 5,724 3,967.48 1,488.24 2,479.24 190 $713
1 Year 7,632 5,289.97 1,984.32 3,305.65 254 $953

* This is based on my 15.4 mile commute to work in a car that gets 28 miles/gallon.
** The CO2 from bus is based on the per passenger average emissions in the US.
*** I combined data from the Sunlight Institute, and CarbonCounter.org for these numbers.

I also estimated that my annual trips to Michigan via airplane produces 10,031lbs of CO2.  Of which, I think about 50lbs could be accredited to me (based on a guess of 200 people on a plane.)

So, this is just some food for thought.  How much CO2 do you produce?

Here is a hint.
Miles lbs CO2 from carGallonsPrice
Linden to Muskeegan 400 77130$113
Linden to Troy 60 41.593$11

*Round trip estimates... 13mpg for work van to Muskeegan, and 20mpg to go to Troy.

back to more about me...

I am also responsible for 2,818.26lbs/year of CO2 from my consumption of [3060KWh of] electricity.  However, this number is most likely higher than my current CO2 emissions because it is based on data from 2004 that I got from the EPA.  According to that data my region: gets 49% of it's power from Hydro-Electric Power plants, 2% from non-hydro renewable, 4% nuclear, 0% oil, 11% gas, 34% coal, and produces .921 lbs of CO2 per KWh.

The national averages are: 2% non-hydro renewable, 7% hydro, 20% nuclear, 3% oil, 17% gas, 50% coal.  So, my power is cleaner than the national average (1.363lbs of CO2 per KWh.)

So, in conclusion my total estimated carbon footprint for power usage, driving my car, riding the bus, and flying to Michigan twice a year comes to a total of 10,142.55 lbs/year of CO2.  In relation, this puts me slightly above the average person in the world, and less than 1/3 the average American's CO2 emissions.
  • The average American produces 36,684.92lbs/year of CO2.
  • The average person on the planet produces 9,788.52lbs/year of CO2.
  • The average person in India produces 2,314.85lbs/year of CO2. (I assume they produce the least.. maybe?)
* data is from carboncounter.org

So, I even have a solution for me to become carbon neutral.  In theory, if I donate $55.20 a year to carboncounter.org, the money will go to projects that will reduce CO2 in the environment to compensate for the CO2 I produce.  

     I got started on this whole bit because Microsoft has these incentive programs to use alternative methods to get to work.  All of these incentives include the option to either receive a $50 gift certificate to Amazon.com, or to donate $50 on my behalf to Carbonfund.org.  So, essentially just by giving up a gift certificate I am receiving just for going to work, I can compensate for the CO2 I produce.

So, that's all for now.

Later,
  
     SteveO